Salad of greens, yellow pepper, olives, carrots, tomatoes, walnuts with pumpkin vinaigrette salad dressing

Pumpkin Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

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Try this easy pumpkin vinaigrette salad dressing recipe. Besides the tasty fall sweet treats like pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, or pumpkin spice coffee, turn your attention to veggies and salad with this fresh pumpkin vinaigrette salad dressing. It goes well with a fall salad of lettuce, vegetables, walnuts, and ripe pears or a spinach or romaine salad.

I find the taste of this salad dressing to be a bit addictive! You could also use it as a marinade for grilling tofu, fish, or chicken, or bulgur, wild rice, or farro salad. And it just takes just a few minutes to put together.

I like to keep some canned pumpkin in the pantry. Usually, there is also some in a container in my freezer for whenever pumpkin inspiration or cravings strike: smoothies, bread, oatmeal: you name it!

Vinaigrette dressings often include Dijon mustard to help bind the water-soluble (vinegar or citrus juice) and fat-soluble (oil) ingredients together. As the pumpkin is on the thick side and I was using it right after whisking it, I didn’t think this was necessary. But, you could add a teaspoon and see how you like the flavor.

Nutrition in Pumpkin Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

The classic vinaigrette recipe has a ratio of 3:1 oil to vinegar/citrus juice. However, I find that to be too oily. Oil is also naturally packed with calories (even if they are from a healthier type of oil with monounsaturated fats, like olive, peanut, avocado, or canola.) With about 120 calories per tablespoon, a recipe with less oil is a lighter choice.

Besides the beta-carotene and phytochemicals in pumpkin, another advantage of making your own salad dressing is that you can minimize the sodium. Stevia could also be substituted for the agave nectar for fewer calories if you wish. I would try a half of a packet.

Ingredient Tips

Pumpkin: use canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. If you would like to use a fresh pumpkin, choose a sugar pumpkin. These are small, round, sweet pumpkins: and cook the pumpkin flesh well first.

Vinegar: any mild vinegar is good for this recipe. I suggest white wine or apple cider vinegar. Rice wine vinegar is very light and is a great choice, too. Red wine and balsamic vinegar have more distinctive flavors and may not be ideal for this recipe.

Oil: my choice was extra virgin olive oil for this salad dressing. It is high in monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health. They help to lower the levels of LDL cholesterol: these and polyunsaturated fats are beneficial to promote heart health when replacing saturated and trans fats in the diet, according to this article from the American Heart Association and decades of research following Dr. Ancel Keys’ Seven Countries Study. Peanut. safflower or canola oil are also high in monounsaturated fats and have a mild flavor which would fit well with this salad dressing.

Agave nectar: this is a concentrated sweetener. It’s not nutrient-rich: just a sweetener like corn syrup, maple syrup (at least this is natural and not processed), or honey or sugar nutritionally – but a vegan option.

Ginger: this gives the dressing a delightful hint of spice. You could use freshly grated ginger as an alternate.

Salt: I just used a dash of this for flavor. I use iodized salt for most purposes to help ensure we get enough iodine. I also have a Himalayan pink salt with chili pepper grinder, which tastes great on salads.

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Salad of greens, yellow pepper, olives, carrots, tomatoes, walnuts with pumpkin vinaigrette salad dressing

Pumpkin Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Melissa Altman-Traub MS, RDN, LDN
This pumpkin salad dressing is perfect for fall salads or anytime. It is tangy, addictive, and easy to make. Treat yourself to a homemade salad dressing!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 80 kcal


  • whisk
  • Small bowl


  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 dash ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  • In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin puree with the vinegar, agave nectar, and spices with a whisk.
  • While whisking mixture, drizzle in the olive oil.


Use canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
Apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or rice wine vinegar are recommended.
Maple syrup can be used in place of agave nectar.
The nutrition estimate is from Spoonacular, which is based mainly on the USDA database.


Calories: 80kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 0.2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 21mgPotassium: 49mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2335IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword Pumpkin, salad dressing, vinaigrette
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Look for more recipes using seasonal fruits and vegetables in this post by Sisley White, including a green chutney and date and tamarind chutney which look fantastic!

Join my Facebook Group for cooking tips, questions, conversations, and recipes: Plant-Based, Vegan, and Vegetarian Cooking Community.

How did you like this recipe? Please leave a comment and star rating in the comments below:

Updated 5/21/2020

3 thoughts on “Pumpkin Vinaigrette Salad Dressing”

  1. 5 stars
    I really like the idea of a pumpkin vinaigrette, especially with the autumn approaching, when pumpkin dishes are a must. I think I have a can of pumpkin puree, so I will try this out.

  2. Pingback: 100+ Pumpkin Recipes for National Pumpkin Day | Once Upon a Pumpkin

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